Paris je t’aime (2006)

.

.
Surprisingly agreeable confection from two-dozen intelligent directors means that the normally excruciating episodic-vignette style congeals into a solid whole. Most immediately satisfying is that the directors mostly manage to maintain, whatever the substance of their contributions, their own essential spirit, whilst still contributing to a coherent whole that envision Paris both as its archetypal self and also a contemporary melting pot.
.

.
Some personal favourites: Christopher Doyle’s surreal, funny "Porte de Choisy" satirises both haute couture and the clichés of cross-cultural perception, as Barbet Schroeder’s cosmetics salesman transforms a bevy of Asian chicks, full of kung-fu feminist attitude, into a willowy mob of pliant, dancing beauties: it could almost by a sly send-up of, as well as a substitute for, the luxuriant fetishes of Doyle’s long-time collaborator Wong-Kar Wai. Tom Tykwer’s deliriously romantic section treats us to a relationship between a blind Parisian and an American student-actress which is book-ended by a motif of mistaking acting for real distress, and the powerful emotion this can imbue. The same idea more light-heartedly sparks Wes Craven’s interlude at Pere-Lachaise where the ghost of Oscar Wilde sparks a mordant Rufus Sewell’s romanticism for Emily Mortimer’s satisfaction.

.

.
Frédéric Auburtin and Gerard Depardieu provide a tart reunion for Ben Gazzara and Gena Rowlands as a divorcing couple whose old torch gutters low and drowns in acid, whilst Richard LaGrevanese provides Bob Hoskins and Fanny Ardant as a pair of showbiz vets contending with their age through a spot of role-playing. Gus Van Sant’s contribution is a bewildering portrait of non-communication that may or not be a pick-up; and the Coen brothers provide an amusing slice of their familiar cruel whimsy with Steve Buscemi as a tourist who gets into hot water in the Tuileries Metro station. Other directors offer brief, transient mood pieces, like Walter Salles’ wistful vision of a young South American woman’s life as a nurse for children, and others still present tall tales, like that of an African immigrant who meets the object of his obsessive pursuit right at the point of death when she turns up as a paramedic – although the visual coda of this chapter is perfection. Least in my mind are Gurinder Chadha’s familiar painfully obvious reversal of ethnic clichés, Sylvain Chomet’s mime-themed “Tour de Eiffel” episode, and Alexander Payne’s droning final piece. My favourite of the lot is Vincenzo Natali’s vampire episode, “Quartier de la Madeleine”, a nigh-perfect piece of miniaturist horror with a good punchline.
.

.

Popular posts from this blog

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

150 Greatest Action-Adventure Films

Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018)